“Blessed” is a word that we use often to describe everything from a wonderful vacation with family to a job promotion to enjoying a beautiful fall day with a pumpkin spice latte in hand.
In our minds, “blessed” probably equates to a comfortable life with good health, few problems and special moments that make our days better. We add a quick “#blessed” to our social media posts to share with the world these good moments in our life, seeing that many others do the same.
If Jesus were to have a social media account, would we see #blessed added to his posts? Or does he have a different understanding of what it means to be “blessed” and therefore what it means to live a “blessed life”?
The Beatitudes in Matthew 5 describe situations that are contrary to our belief that blessings are found in health, wealth and comfort. In fact, they describe quite the opposite! Jesus shares about people who experience hardship, suffering and even persecution, but who are living a blessed, abundant life because they’re choosing to keep their eyes on him.
In the midst of whatever comes our way — whether good or bad — we can experience blessing. This mindset is countercultural to the messages we receive every day that blessings only come in good packages. After all, we know that adding “#blessed” to a post that shares about an inconvenience of life is just a sarcastic expression of what we certainly would not consider to be a blessing, right?
But as Jesus preaches in the Beatitudes, we come face to face with a far different definition of what it means to be blessed. We’d likely argue that what Jesus is describing is the exact opposite of blessings, and if that’s what it means to be blessed, count us out!
Jesus’ words challenge us to reexamine what it means to be blessed and to realign our definition with his. And according to his words in the Beatitudes, we can see that Jesus desires far more for us than what we desire for ourselves. We just need to focus on him rather than our circumstances.
That’s what it is to be blessed: to be willing to pursue God with wholehearted abandon, even if it means encountering hardship or enduring suffering. Because the pursuit of God is the blessed life, and as we keep our eyes focused on him, we’ll discover all we need in him.
Each of our stories are unique, as are the ways that God chooses to bless us. Come back each month to explore three different examples of what it looks like to live a blessed life through video and story.
North and Amanda Cady knew they wanted to be missionaries even before they were married. But that dream was put on hold when they discovered issues in their marriage that needed to be addressed. Although their road to healing and restoration was difficult and humbling, it ultimately brought them to a place of abundant blessing.Read Their Story
Pastor Bennett Marona has survived trials most of us can only imagine. For decades, he worked to translate the New Testament for his community despite wars, displacement and even being kidnapped. Though his life has been filled with mourning, his steadfastness has brought him to a deeper knowledge of God’s faithfulness, rich blessings and abundant joy.Read His Story
When God asks you to give up something good in life, it can be hard to let go, especially if you can’t see the way ahead. Misriani Balle faced this decision when she was asked to leave her successful career to help with Bible translation. But God had a better plan for her life than she had ever imagined.Read Her Story